Weather and Seasons

Weather in New Zealand

New Zealand is an island country, sitting between 37 and 47 degrees south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Both the North and South Islands of New Zealand enjoy moderate, maritime climate, weather and temperatures.

New Zealand weather and climate is of paramount importance to the people of New Zealand, as many New Zealanders make their living from the land. New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall, and many hours of sunshine throughout most of the country. New Zealand’s climate is dominated by two main geographical features: the mountains and the sea.

To check the weather go to the Metservice website. This website also provides information on any severe weather warnings.

 

New Zealand Seasons

New Zealand does not have a large temperature range, lacking the extremes found in most continental climates. However, New Zealand weather can change unexpectedly – as cold fronts can quickly blow in. Because of this, you should be prepared for sudden changes in weather and temperature if you are doing outdoor activities such as tramping or kayaking.

New Zealand Summer

New Zealand’s summer months are December to February, bringing high temperatures and sunshine. Days are long and sunny, nights are mild. Summer is an excellent time for walking in the bush and a variety of other outdoor activities. New Zealand’s many gorgeous beaches are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, boating, and water sports during summer. Summer is the best time of year to go camping in New Zealand.

New Zealand Autumn

March to May are New Zealand’s autumn months. While temperatures are a little cooler than summer, the weather can be excellent, and it is possible to swim in some places until April.

While New Zealand’s native flora is evergreen, there are many introduced deciduous trees. Colourful changing leaves make autumn a scenic delight, especially in regions such as Central Otago and Hawke’s Bay, which are known for their autumn splendour.

New Zealand Winter

New Zealand’s winter months of June to August bring colder weather to much of the country, and more rain to most areas in the North Island. Mountain ranges in both islands become snow-covered, providing beautiful vistas and excellent skiing.

While the South Island has cooler winter temperatures, some areas of the South Island experience little rainfall in winter, so this is an excellent time to visit glaciers, mountains, and other areas of scenic beauty.

New Zealand Spring

Spring lasts from September to November, and New Zealand’s spring weather can range from cold and frosty to warm and hot. During spring buds, blossoms, and other new growth bursts forth throughout the country and new born lambs frolic in the fields just before dusk.

Both Alexandra in Central Otago and Hastings in Hawke’s Bay celebrate spring with a blossom festival. If you’re into white water rafting, this is the time when melting spring snow makes river water levels excitingly high!

 

New Zealand Temperatures

New Zealand has a largely temperate climate. While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10 C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine.

Because New Zealand lies in the Southern Hemisphere, the average temperature decreases as you travel south. The north of New Zealand is subtropical and the south temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20 – 30ºC and in winter between 10 – 15ºC.)

Source: New Zealand Tourism Guide – www.tourism.net.nz

 

Weather and Sun Safety

New Zealand sun can have high levels of ultraviolet radiation which can be harmful for your skin. It is important that you protect your skin when you are outdoors and in the sun.

there are some simple things you can do to protect yourself from the sun:

  • Put on a shirt or clothing
  • Go into the shade
  • Apply sunscreen to your skin
  • Put on a hat
  • Wear sunglasses

More information on being “sunsmart” can be found here.